It’s frustrating when the plant you put so much time into caring for doesn’t seem to grow. Arrowhead plants, or Syngonium, are generally easygoing and will tolerate many adverse conditions, but they are still picky about certain things. This article will walk you through some typical growth issues with Syngonium plants and how to address them.
What You'll Learn Today
- How Do You Revive an Arrowhead Plant?
- How to Repot an Arrowhead Plant
- How Do I Make My Arrowhead Bushy?
How Do You Revive an Arrowhead Plant?
There are several potential reasons why your arrowhead plant is refusing to grow. Here are some of the most common causes and how to correct them:
Your Plant is Dormant
You’ll see the most growth from arrowhead plants during the active growing season. Depending on your location, this is typically from about mid-April to mid-October.
In the cold winter months, growth slows way down for these plants. You may not even see any growth at all.
To care for your arrowhead during winter, continue to water it only when the top inch of soil is dry. Do not let the soil dry out completely.
Since the plant isn’t using as much water during dormancy, you’ll notice that you don’t need to water it as often.
Your Soil is Lacking Nutrients
Syngonium plants do best in a well-draining potting mix. Potting soil (as opposed to a mix) can be too dense and retain an excessive amount of moisture.
These plants also like acidic soils that have a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Most all-purpose potting mixes from any store with garden supplies will work.
If you think your arrowhead plant’s soil could be the problem, you could try repotting it with new soil.
Your plant needs fertilizer
Arrowhead plants don’t necessarily require fertilizer to thrive and grow. But if you’ve checked off all of the other boxes for proper care and your plant is still not growing, give fertilizer a try.
Your Syngonium may appreciate regular feedings during the growing season – once per month is usually plenty. You can use any all-purpose houseplant fertilizer for this.
Your plant needs more light
Arrowhead plants are naturally easygoing and can thrive in almost any type of lighting except for bright sunlight. However, they are happiest in bright, indirect sunlight. In their native habitat, arrowhead plants bask in dappled sunlight from tree canopies.
Although your arrowhead may look healthy in low light, it may not grow well. Most growth happens when they’re exposed to more light.
Try moving your plant near a window that gets a decent amount of sunlight during the day. Just make sure the sun’s rays are not directly on the plant, as it could scorch the leaves.
Your Arrowhead Needs to be Repotted
Arrowheads are fast growers when all of their needs are met and they’re in an appropriately sized container. If you’re noticing a lack of growth and the plant hasn’t been repotted in over a year, that would be a good next step.
Many gardeners report that their Syngonium plants grow the fastest when they are repotted regularly.
How to Repot an Arrowhead Plant
If you think your arrowhead needs to be repotted to fix your growth issues, here’s how to do it:
1. Choose Your Container
Pick a pot that is bigger than your plant’s previous pot, which will give it the space it needs to grow freely. The pot should have drainage holes so that it’s not sitting in water.
2. Fill the Pot With Soil
Choose a well-draining, all-purpose potting mix for your Syngonium – preferably organic.
3. Remove the Plant
Gently tip the plant on its side and pull it out of its current pot, careful not to damage its roots.
4. Massage the Root Ball
Gently pull apart the roots, particularly if they are tightly wound in the shape of the pot.
5. Put the Plant in the New Pot
Situate the plant in the container and cover the roots with soil. The root ball should sit just below the top of the pot.
6. Water the Plant
Give your arrowhead a good watering once it’s in the new pot.
For a detailed, visual demonstration of arrowhead repotting, watch this YouTube gardener’s video:
How Do I Make My Arrowhead Bushy?
Arrowhead plants are native to tropical and subtropical forests, where they sprawl over the ground. Their natural habit is to grow long, soft stems, which flop over from the weight of the leaves.
If you’re growing your arrowhead in a container and prefer a bushier, compact look, you’ll just need to prune it regularly. Just trim the stems to the desired length with clean, sharp pruning shears.
Once your Syngonium looks the way you want it to, trim any new growth that emerges from where you pruned it to maintain its shape. This should encourage your plant to look fuller and less leggy.
Even the most experienced gardeners get frustrated with their plants sometimes. It’s difficult to figure out what houseplants need when they’re not doing well. But once you figure out what makes your Syngonium happy, you’ll be rewarded with fast growth and beautiful foliage. If all else fails, you can always propagate and start again.